Derbyshire community urged to drink responsibly this summer season

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With the recent lifting of restrictions allowing pubs and restaurants to open their indoor spaces once more, Derbyshire residents are being urged not to consume any alcohol if getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Since the easing of lockdown restrictions in March this year, 92 drivers have been arrested after testing positive for drink driving offences on the roads of Derbyshire. In the summer months of 2020, between June and September 203 drivers tested positive for being over the legal limit and it is feared this amount will increase even further this summer.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of accidents across the UK and statistics have revealed drivers to be 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when intoxicated. Yet despite years of campaigning on these dangers, there are still those who are willing to get behind the wheel and risk the lives of not only themselves, but other innocent road users and pedestrians.

Inspector Greg Hunt, who leads the force’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “With a combination of restrictions easing and with warmer weather on the horizon, more people will be meeting up earlier in the day, which can also mean the potential for drink driving to become a heightened issue.

“We understand how tough the past year has been and it’s only natural that people want to get out and celebrate the lifting of lockdown with their families and friends, all we ask is that people do so responsibly and keep others from harm.

“Any amount can affect your ability to drive. Just one drink could cause a collision or have life-changing consequences for you or those around you. The last thing my officers want to be tasked with is knocking on a family’s door to tell them their loved one has died in a road traffic collision, due to irresponsible actions that could have easily been prevented.

“Our officers will be out on patrol taking a firm stance against anyone found to be over the legal limit when in control of a vehicle.

“Our message is simple, be prepared and enjoy the summer by thinking ahead. Don’t ever get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence – book a taxi, appoint a designated driver, take a walk, but don’t be tempted to drive. You’ll not only be putting your own life at risk, but also the lives of others.

“We hope you enjoy your social activities and let’s continue to work together in keeping Derbyshire safe.”

The facts
There is no failsafe way to tell how much alcohol will put you over the limit, or to convert the BAC limit into how many units you can have. The concentration of alcohol in blood depends on various factors.

These factors include: weight, age, gender, metabolism, tiredness, stress levels, the type of alcohol consumed, how much you have eaten before drinking.

Even if you’ve been to sleep after consuming alcohol, there could still be high levels in your system, which could be enough to put you over the limit. Having a cup of coffee or a cold shower won’t speed the process up – you might feel better for it, but you won’t have eliminated the alcohol levels in any way.

That’s why the only safe amount to drink if you’re driving is nothing at all.

The law
In England, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is:

35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.
The consequences
If a UK driver is found to be over the drink-drive limit, and/or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, they can receive a maximum penalty of six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban. Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis could also result in this penalty.

If a driver kills someone while under the influence, they can be charged with causing death by careless driving, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Seen someone drink driving?
Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to £1000 if you can provide information on a drink or drug driver, which leads to the arrest of one or more individuals resulting in them being formally charged.

Your anonymity is 100% guaranteed. To report an incident please contact them, via their online form or over the phone on 0800 555 111.

If you suspect someone of drink driving, or know someone who is about to drive while under the influence, call us on 101. If there is an immediate danger to life, call 999.